Solar Companies that Lobbied for Tariffs go Bankrupt

Solar Companies that Lobbied for Tariffs go Bankrupt

Well, that was pointless.

In 2018, two solar panel manufacturers, Suniva and SolarWorld, lobbied the U.S. International Trade Commission, arguing that Chinese solar panels were a "substantial cause of serious injury" to their businesses. President Trump responded with a 30% tariff on imported solar panels.

Less than a year later, Suniva and SolarWorld went bankrupt.

But that’s not all – the tariffs did serious damage to U.S. solar panel installation, which relied on Chinese imports for up to 80% of their supply. They cost SunPower, which relies heavily on imported solar panels, upwards of $2 million per week.

Suniva and SolarWorld had insisted that protectionism would create 114,000 American jobs. But The Solar Energy Industries Association claims the tariffs have “slowed down the growth of our industry” and they’d cost up to 23,000 American jobs.

Ironically, Suniva is Chinese-owned, and SolarWorld is a U.S. subsidiary of a German company.

The tangible value of tariffs is highly controversial, but they’re especially injurious when they impact a thriving ($28 billion) domestic industry. And with Suniva and SolarWorld shuttered, you might say the tariffs accomplished nothing. Nothing positive, anyway.